Commission approves 'Hillocks Farm' in Hixson, neighbors have mi - WSMV Channel 4

Commission approves 'Hillocks Farm' in Hixson, neighbors have mixed reviews

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

One year after the city of Chattanooga voted down a mixed-use development in Hixson, it is now getting the green light from the planning commission.

There has been plenty of opposition to the $100 million development, formerly known as 'Chattanooga Village.' Along with a name change, the developer says he has made changes to address concerns over traffic and water runoff.

The project is now known as 'Hillocks Farm.' The proposed site sits near the intersection of Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road. City leaders say developer Duane Horton has been more than cooperative but neighbors still have mixed feelings on the plans.

"I'm worried about the traffic and the people and so many things that will be there; the apartments, the buildings, the stores. I'm not opposed to stores and commerce but there's plenty of stuff on 153. Go ahead and build where something's empty," says neighbor Judy Ivey.

Two months ago, Ivey moved into a home next to the proposed Hillocks Farm.

"We didn't know it was going to be as close to this house when we moved here," says Ivey.

The 190-acre vision includes 280 apartment units, 250,000 square feet of office space and 500,000 square feet of retail space. Many neighbors worry about water runoff and traffic.

"I think it's going to be another Gunbarrel Road, personally," says neighbor David Miller.

Miller says he can not imagine more cars on Highway 153.

"Just to get out from Boy Scout Road to 153, you can get run over real easy," he says.

"We really want to be able to give the community everything we can possibly give them and make the project work at the same time," Duane Horton told Channel 3 in a previous interview.

Horton tells Channel 3 his plans call for an increased 'buffer zone' of 100 feet between the development and existing homes, along with green space. He also says retention ponds and a storm water management system will help with runoff.

"One of the things that we're really looking forward to be able to do is fixing some of the infrastructure problems that we have out in that area anyway," says Chip Henderson, councilman for District One.

Henderson helped form a special committee to review plans and hold meetings with the public. He says Horton has listened.

"He did respond to the committee's concerns that it had addressed."

On top of that, Henderson welcomes the increased tax base.

"I think the amount of revenue that will come in off this development will be significant," says Henderson.

As for Ivey, there could be some pros.

"I do see pros, if we could get a grocery store on this side of town."

The plans have one more hurdle to jump. The city council will vote on the project at its February 11th meeting.

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